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Logan’s Run and the Problem of Postulated Utopias

I recently watched the movie Logan’s Run (1976). This is a cult sci-fi movie that is set in a dystopia in which humans live in fully regulated lives and have been freed from the burden of labor. The only catch is that they have to die at the age of 30. The concept is not uninteresting, and there are also two unexpected narrative twists, which I am not going to spoil. However, what I found most interesting was how this movie was set up. You get the following text as an intro, and that is it.


The backstory of Logan’s Run

If you accept this premise, then Logan’s Run is a perfectly fine movie, albeit some parts stretch credulity a bit much. However, do these premises really make a lot of sense? For a movie, they do not have to make sense, but I think that leftist ideologues are not much more thorough when describing their utopias, for which they want to destroy contemporary societies. Let us go through some of the key points of the intro of Logan’s Run:

1) Order out of chaos
It is of course a a complete coincidence that Hollywood made a movie that hints at the motto of the freemasons, i.e. “ordo ab chao“. Here we read about “war, overpopulation, and pollution”. Yet, such a world turns into a modern technological utopia that is in perfect equilibrium. There are a few steps missing, just as it always is the case with leftists.

2) The Great Domed City
In the movie you do not see a lot of rugged men so it is not entirely clear who built it. Instead, it is just there, just like there is paradise in Marxist thought as soon as the current economic order has been destroyed. Yet, who would build such architecture and why? There would need to be someone in charge to make decisions and set directions.

3) Mankind living only for pleasure
A society that lacks productive members is not sustainable. There is of course the philosophical problem that a live devoted to the pursuit of pleasure is quite empty, which is not addressed at all in the movie, unfortunately. This is not necessarily a missed opportunity because such elaborations are not compatible with mainstream thinking. Also, what would the purpose of such human beings be? Why would the elites, or the machines (see next point), not just kill them if they are only useless eaters?

4) “Servo-mechanisms” provide everything
This is the biggest bullshit in the world of Logan’s Run. Marx dreamt of a world in which steam engines would somehow build itself and free man from the burden of labor. Similarly, in the setting of this movie, there are postulated machines that do absolutely everything. However, who designs, builds, and maintains them? The thought of a fully automated world that only exists for one’s own pleasure is laughable, yet leftists have at least found a semi-plausible version as their vision of a good life is that the taxpayer provides them with money, goods, and services. This kind of parasitism has a relatively low upper bound, though. The contemporary equivalent of machines who serve us are probably AI-powered machines who somehow enjoy being at our beck and call.

There are more fundamental problems with the world of Logan’s Run, however. The first is that it is completely unclear who rules society. The implication seems to be that those “servo-mechanisms” are so powerful that they do everything, even take care of administration. Again, the machines are simply there for you. Yet, there is no mention of any kind of “artificial intelligence” either. This is a relatively primitive mechanical world that simply functions the way it is supposed to be, yet can adapt to challenges.

Speaking of challenges to the status quo, the main character has the task of hunting down “runners” who want to escape their utopia, but why is this even a problem? If some people escape the great domed city, then there is simply one person less around for the machines to serve. The want to get out, not come back, so why bother? It should not make a difference for the “servo-mechanisms” if they kill someone at 30 or if they let them escape because they will be gone anyway. Also, why would machines be bothered if there were no humans at all around?

It is very easy to simply postulate that something, whatever it may be, is simply there. Sadly, this kind of thinking seems to have infested politics, as evidenced by climate change bullshit, the Covid scamdemic, or the promotion of a myriad of “genders”. Indeed, such thinking is easy. Anyone can do it. In contrast, it is much more difficult to come up with coherent explanations for something, or consider implications.

In leftist thinking, we only have to replace competent white men with blacks and women, and everything will be fine. That this leads to Boeing airplanes falling out of the sky is supposedly just some kind of glitch in the matrix that we should ignore instead of asking questions. Basically any kind of leftist utopia can be questioned like this. Who should build it and why? Who will benefit from it? Why would it be “better” or more sustainable? Of course, the real goal of overthrowing society is simply that a different set of people wants to be in charge. Perhaps, this is why there are no elites in the world of Logan’s Run because this might also make the viewer wonder who would rule in a progressive utopia.

5 thoughts on “Logan’s Run and the Problem of Postulated Utopias

  1. Despite its obvious plot holes and ideological flaws, LOGAN’S RUN is an absolute 1970s sci-fi classic with a seminal musical score by grandmaster Jerry Goldsmith by the way!

  2. A more realistic version is the story “The Machine Stops” by E. M. Forster, 1928. The servo-mechanical utopia exists in locations all over the world, but grinds to a catastrophic end when the repair mechanisms themselves break down.

    1. I am not familiar with this story, but it seems quite prescient. Working in tech, I have repeatedly encountered situations in which people were no longer able to understand how a particular piece of software works, which can lead to absolutely ridiculous workarounds such as developing a wrapper around it that treats the original software as some kind of black box. More commonly, people try to reimplement such software, based on an incomplete understanding of its specifications. I think this is all due to people with an IQ of 100 or below trying to work with artifacts that were created by people with an IQ of at least 120.

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